In the United States, over 12 million Americans are making senior living decisions for their loved ones. That number increases every year. The needs of every senior citizen vary from independent living to fully managed care. A family member calling on behalf of a parent or grandparent can feel overwhelmed during the decision-making process. How do they decide? What factors do they need to take into account? How does your facility match up with their needs? And as the number of older Americans has increased, so has the number of communities established to provide care for them…resulting in an exponential increase in the competition among those communities for residents.
In most instances, the first contact a potential resident, or a potential resident’s loved one, has with your community is likely on the telephone. And chances are, that phone call is going to be put On Hold for the period of time necessary for your Admissions Director, Executive Director or other member of your team to complete their current task in order to give this new caller their full, undivided attention. What impression will that caller come away with during that all-important first encounter with your community?
How do On Hold Messages For Assisted Living help?
A customized Care and Comfort On Hold program, containing On Hold messages for Assisted living, lets your callers know that you care about them, that you appreciate their patience, that they haven’t been forgotten about or hung up on, and gives you the opportunity to begin telling the story of your facility, and how it provides the “Peace of Mind” family members are looking for the parents or grandparents.
We know how to combine the music and messages to create effective On Hold messages for assisted living that occupy the caller’s attention and distract them from thinking about the amount of time they spend holding. They’ll actually think their Hold time is less when they’re presented with information that is of use and value to them, and how your facility contributes the safety and well-being of their loved one when they need it the most. This is far and away more desirable than silence On Hold, those annoying beep tones, or a radio station that someone in your office might like but your callers don’t.
So What Do I Say?
When a caller hears content On Hold – at a retirement community, a doctor’s office, car dealership, retail store, restaurant or any other business – a little voice goes off in the back of their head that says “Why do I care?” For a period that might range from a few seconds to as long as a few minutes, you have a captive audience that wants to know how you’re going to help them or the family member they have called on behalf of. So get right to the point: Here’s what we have…here’s what we do that makes living here more than just an enjoyable – makes it an Experience! The content of the messages is the key to engagement and to distracting them from the fact that they’re waiting On Hold. Examples might include:
1. The kinds of living arrangements available.
2. Dining options
3. On-site services such as light-housekeeping, laundry services, barber shop and hair salon services.
4. Proximity to nearby medical parks, healthcare centers, clinics and hospitals
5. On-site social and recreational facilities such as a gym, pool, tennis courts, community garden, library, game room, snack bar, etc.
6. Proximity to nearby attractions such as golf courses, bowling alleys, shopping districts, theatres, sports teams or other cultural attractions.
7. Information on in-house medical care such as staff nurses, physical therapists, physicians and other providers.
8. The availability of Alzheimer’s or dementia care should the need arise.
9. Staff led activities such as exercise classes, arts & crafts, cooking classes, technology classes, social outings and more.
10. Physical location of the community, proximity to nearby local landmarks, community web site.
11. An invitation to schedule a tour of the community.
12. Availability of transportation to medical and dental appointments for residents who no longer drive.
The right content shifts the caller’s attention away from the wait time and toward the benefits of your community…and in every case the focus is on a pain-free experience.
What kind of music will my Care and Comfort On Hold program have?
Our production library is rich with a wide variety of musical styles, genres and tempos, and we have a long and excellent track record of matching up the right music to the tone of your script and the professional image of your community. It’s always important to remember that the messages are the stars in your program…the music is just the glue that holds them together. If a caller comes away from your Care and Comfort On Hold program humming the tune of your music, but doesn’t remember the content of your messages, we’ve failed. That’s why our music options are decidedly background in nature. We’re not going to lull anyone to sleep, we’re just going to provide them with a calming, professional, assuring background that reinforces your community as a the next natural step in the life the caller.
How often will my Care and Comfort On Hold program change?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on how often things change at your community. Do you change your other marketing efforts quarterly, semi-annually or annually? Then change your On Hold program in conjunction. Does your community have a quarterly or seasonal them that changes four times a year? Change your program along with it. Things stay pretty much the same all year round? Then you only need to change once a year to keep fresh and current. We’ll help you determine that when we talk on the phone. And we’ll keep you updated with the right seasonal information at the right time, regardless of how often you want / need your program to be updated.
How does my Care and Comfort On Hold program play into my telephone system?
Telephone system types vary more widely than ever before…and how you play an on hold program to caller is dependent on the phone system’s capabilities. Many telephone systems have an audio input jack to accept audio from an external audio source. VoIP or Hosted telephone systems usually require an audio file. Yet there are variations to every rule so asking your telephone dealer or your on hold provider is the best way to find out what your telephone system can do.
For more information, just call at 800-342-0098 during business hours and we’ll answer the phone…and your questions or visit our Care and Comfort On Hold page: www.careandcomfortonhold.com
Brian Illes – VP/Operations
I’m one of five seasoned professionals here at On Hold Marketing where we all have over 10 years’ experience. Our Care and Comfort On Hold service is helping Assisted Living and Nursing Home Communities reduce caller hang-ups and frustration, and reminds callers about the many services being provided to their loved ones.